29, project architect with Ordiz-Melby Architects Inc.
Walking through the halls of an elementary school wrapping up construction is surreal to Joseph Zasoski.
He’d spent the better part of two years working 3D models and doing virtual walkthroughs and as the project nears completion, he’s able to see something that was once a concept in his mind in the real world.
Knowing who will eventually populate the building is another factor Zasoski keeps in mind throughout the process.
“You look at schools that are old or not designed well, sometimes that inhibits a student’s ability to learn,” the project architect said. “It’s nice to know that I’m having an impact in that regard, even though it might not be an active, firsthand influence.”
Zasoski was born and raised in Bakersfield, attending Highland High School and going to USC where he did a five-year Bachelor of Architecture program. He interned with Ordiz-Melby Architects Inc. in Bakersfield in 2011 and upon graduation, he was offered a job.
From there, he took it upon himself to become a licensed architect as fast as he could, studying countless hours during his free time.
“I think as far as I’m aware, at 29 to be a licensed architect is a very substantial accomplishment and I’m very humbled that I was able to do it so young,” Zasoski said. “Most architects aren’t licensed until their mid- to late-30s.”
Zasoski’s work has been in education and includes the addition of a new gymnasium at North High School, which is the Kern High School District’s largest in capacity.
“Thousands of students will come through that gym,” he said. “I think that, at least as far as the projects I’ve been involved on, that was kind of cool.”
Outside the office, Zasoski is involved with the Italian Catholic Federation, which has a branch in Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The nonprofit works to generate funds throughout the year to donate to charity.
“If you’re in a position where you’re afforded time in your free time to help people, it’s an admirable position to take,” he said. “Ultimately, it makes for a better community.”